How To Boot to Safe Mode in Windows 8

The boot option has been completely revamped in Windows 8, therefore the way how to get into the safe mode also has changed. It’s easier, has more options, and gets no more fighting with the boot time to get the right moment pressing the F8 key.

Here is a quick instruction showing you how:

First, boot to the Advanced Boot Options. Not sure how? Here are 3 way of doing so.

Then, once in the boot options, go to Troubleshoot.

Boot to Safe Mode - Troubleshoot

Then, Advanced options.

Boot to Safe Mode - Troubleshoot - Advanced options

Then, pick Startup Settings.

Boot to Safe Mode - Troubleshoot - Advanced options - Startup Settings

Click Restart button.

Boot to Safe Mode - Troubleshoot - Advanced options - Startup Settings - Restart

The computer then reboots. Before it goes into the normal Windows 8 system, it displays the Startup Settings instead. You will see 3 Safe Mode options listed there.

  • Press F4 to Enable Safe Mode
  • Press F5 to Enable Safe Mode with Networking
  • Press F6 to Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt

Boot to Safe Mode - Startup Settings

Once one of the 3 options is chosen, the system continues to reboot and goes into the mode you expected.

That’s it.

[Update on Nov. 1, 2012]

For those wondering how to boot to safe mode directly from boot, for example when Windows failed to boot, it appears that the new revamped boot option will automatically fire up the advanced boot options when it detects a problem that prevents the system from being boot to your desktop. You can check this post for more details.

[Updated on Nov. 3, 2012]

It also appears that you can hold down Shift key and smashing F8 during the boot. If you are quick and lucky enough, you can still get into the new advanced boot options.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 08/04/2014

Posted in: How to , Windows 8
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Lukas Rypacek
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Lukas Rypacek
3 years 10 months ago

Any idea how to boot into safe mode in cases where the system bluescreens while booting?

Kent Chen
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3 years 10 months ago

Good question. I guess you’ve already tried F8?

LALALA
Guest
3 years 10 months ago

one more horribly flawed microsoft idea:
99% of the time you need safemode BECAUSE YOUR WINDOWS DOESNT START…
so if my windows stucks while loading, I no longer have the option to use safe mode
well done microsoft

Ticked Off
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Ticked Off
3 years 10 months ago

Tried it the way you described. Doesn’t work. Just goes to Automatic Repair mode every time it’s a P.O.S. Lost all my programs and data and school work. Thanks Windows 8.

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3 years 10 months ago

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